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Super Bowl MVP: Beware The 25-Year-Old QB!

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John Elway was named the Super Bowl MVP as a 38-year-old in 1999. He was the oldest MVP in the game's history. Photo by E. Bakke/Getty Images.
John Elway was named the Super Bowl MVP as a 38-year-old in 1999. He was the oldest MVP in the game's history. Photo by E. Bakke/Getty Images.

In the 47-year history of the Super Bowl, we have had 48 players (there were co-MVPs in 1978) who were selected as the MVP of the game. Joe Montana, quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, won three of those awards, the most in the game’s history. Four other players won the award twice: Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady and Eli Manning — all QBs.

As we take a look at the list of Super Bowl MVPs, several interesting stats evolve:

First, quarterbacks seem to be the primary focus of the Super Bowl MVP award. Of the 48 MVPs, 26 have been QBs. Baltimore QB Joe Flacco was chosen as the last year’s MVP.

Here’s a position-by-position look at the MVPs:

Super Bowl MVP Awards, position, (average age of those MVPs)

26: Quarterbacks (30.0)

8: Defensive players (26.6)

7: Running backs (27.0)

6: Wide receivers (26.5)

1: Kick returners (26.0)

Secondly, we notice that when it comes to the age of the player named the game’s MVP, most are in their 20s. In fact, of the 48 MVPs, 30 were in their 20s, 18 were in their 30s. Here’s a look at the number of MVPs within each age. The age with the most MVPs is 25 with seven.

Age, Super Bowl MVP Awards

Age 23: Two

Age 24: Five

Age 25: Seven

Age 26: Five

Age 27: Five

Age 28: Three

Age 29: Three

Age 30: Two

Age 31: Three

Age 32: Four

Age 33: Four

Age 34: Four

Age 38: One

* The oldest Super Bowl MVP was Denver’s John Elway in 1999. He was 38 years old.

* The youngest Super Bowl MVP was Raiders running back Marcus Allen who was 23. Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann was also 23 when he won his Super Bowl MVP in 1976, but Allen beat him by 15 days; Allen was 23 and 302 days, Swann was 23 and 317 days.

* Of the 18 players who were in their 30s when they won the Super Bowl MVP, 14 of them were quarterbacks.

* Dallas’ Randy White, who shared MVP honors with teammate Harvey Martin in the 1978 game, is the only MVP to win his award on his birthday. He won his MVP on his 25th birthday.